Episode Description

There is so much stuff we don’t learn in school about businessand foremost among those is developing an entrepreneurial mindset. For thisepisode, Scott Harkey brings in someone who used that quality to recognizebusiness opportunities and pursue them in a somewhat unconventional way. Alex Guerrero isthe founder of Society LLC. Inthis episode, he talks about golf as a sport and how it can help you inbuilding your business. Alex shares personal experiences throughout his journeyand explains how he succeeds with his business goals while enjoying hisfavorite sport. Listen in as he describes how golf is an incomparable platformfor building a relationship that may just be your next deal waiting to happen.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Episode Transcript

I’m super excited because I’m at one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people in the world. We’re in Flagstaff, Arizona at Pine Canyon Country Club. I’m with one of my all-time doggies. We don’t know where we’re going to go with this but we’re going to have a lot of fun. Alex and I talked about a couple of things. We wanted to talk about what a sense of community is and also, we want to talk that as entrepreneurs or as business people, there’s shit you don’t learn in school. There’s other dumb stuff that you learn about business, how to make connections or how to do certain things that you would never learn in school. We’re sitting here. We’re at Patrick Peterson’s golf tournament. It’s a real low-key group of maybe twenty people. We were talking about how many great people we’ve met like playing golf.

It’s crazy and it’s funny going back. You take a couple of steps back and you talk about the first time that I experienced golf and the conversations I had with people about golf, especially on my football team. I literally used to fight people and be like, “Golfers are athletes.” That was the first battle for sure. We’re golfers, athletes and then I started to figure it out like the networking side of golf. I was all in after that once I saw the entry into new circles and being able to be cultured. You can be with an entrepreneur that’s 25 years old or you can go with like a 75-year-old guy that’s built and sold three businesses. It’s such a cool dynamic that’s when I fell in love with it. As a guy who loves relationships, learning and meeting new people, I think if there could be something like a curriculum around it like it should be a class.

They talk about diversity and golf in some ways, sometimes you get paired up with people you would never spend five hours with. All of a sudden, you’re with a guy or a girl that you would never hang five hours with and you’re hanging with for five hours. What are you going to talk about? It’s intimidating. It’s weird.

The dynamics of it are very similar to when you’re trying to break the ice with someone at a business function where it’s like the first two holes. You’re trying to fill them out. You’re trying to see what people they are. Did they take the game seriously? Do they take it pretty loosely? Do they like music on? Those are all things you pay attention to and learn from.

You play golf with them for five hours and you’re going to be like, “I like that person or I want to do business with that person or not.” That’s why I think as relationship people, I love golf because it’s a way to find out if someone’s my vibe or not. There are times where you’re stuck with someone for 4.5 hours and it’s frustrating. It’s a hard and humbling game.

You bring up a great point. You learn a lot about people and the way they handle adversity on the golf course. If they can’t handle not hitting a par 3 green, could they handle a business transaction? That’s where you’re like or do they take themselves, they’re self-deprecating and joke around about their game. I think those are all great aspects of people that you want to deal with on the community side, on the business side that comes from like understanding people during a round the golf which is big.

We talked about this a little bit but one thing for me that I think that you and I have talked about and almost bonded over a little bit is it’s intimidating. When I first started playing golf, I was a baseball guy. You’re a football guy.

Let’s put it out there. He didn’t want to put his true handicap out here. He said they are going to make fun of me. That’s why they created the handicap.

It’s even deeper than that. Let’s go deeper because a lot of times, there are intimidating things that we get into and we feel insecure about something. For me, maybe I feel insecure about my handicap, this or that. “I’m with professional athletes and I’m a JUCO player,” or whatever. I think something about golf to humble yourself. Patrick talked about not knowing certain etiquette of the game or feeling in a weird spot. You’ve gone to that restaurant and you are like, “I don’t know if I can be here,” but people power through that. The game’s changing a little bit, too.

It’s a great time for an inclusive golf world. It’s from streetwear coming into the golf scene to golf courses being more open to the type of people they see. It’s a perfect time for people that haven’t taken it up to take it up. I strongly suggest taking it up because it can help you on so many levels. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to love golf. Ultimately, if you want to understand people and the growth of people and the type of people you are surrounding yourself with, which could be implemented into anything you do beyond business. You can learn a lot about people on the golf course, traveling and being able to see a lot of things.

Don't limit yourself to the avenues that you think you can fit into.

I have met so many people golfing and closed so many deals golfing because I think in business, it’s a 3 to the 5-year relationship game. People typically want to slam somebody on a deal right away. That’s not how it works. People need to trust you and golf is like one of those things, especially as we get older. It’s like an athletic event that we can hang with people, get to know them over a long course of time and all of a sudden, a deal starts to happen with these people.

The best part about golf is coming into it, even though it could be in a business environment, fundraiser, celebrity event, a trip like Patrick’s event. You don’t come into it wanting to get something from it. It’s an organic way. Everyone comes here trying to do one thing, which is to dominate a game that is harder than any game there is. When you come in, everyone’s on the same level, whether you own a billion-dollar business, you are an All-Pro or you are a guy that’s starting a business or learning the game. Everyone’s literally trying to master this game which is so incredibly hard. I think that’s like the world’s best ice breaker. It makes sense when you come into it, whether you have a goal in mind, whether it’s to build a relationship, sustaining relationships or start a relationship, golf is a great conduit to that. People need to see it that as opposed to the block of goofy shorts.

That’s over. I will look at it. It’s funny. You have an All-Pro cornerback, two of them, then you have this 60-year-old country club doctor with white hair.

Shout out to Pine Canyon because they take care of us here. It’s unbelievable the things that they do here.

I fell in love with this place. This is a Zen place like you’re in the mountains. I’m looking around and I was like, “Okay.” I'm playing this great guy, a Pine Canyon member. We have Pro Bowl NFL players and it’s a level playing field. We’re all playing the same game.

Everyone’s trying to achieve the same thing. It’s the hardest thing.

On this show, what I wanted to do was reached back out to my 25 or my 20-year-old self. What would you tell young Alex who’s getting in the game because you’re hustling like me and you built a great business? A little background on Alex. He has built an amazing sports agency and represents some of the greatest athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL and golf. It’s cool to see what you’ve built with your business but I think you have that hustler mentality like me. What would you tell your younger Alex, what you’ve learned now versus back when you started in the game?

Keep your mindset limitless. Don’t limit yourself to the avenues that you can fit into. If I only try to fit myself in an athletic box then, that’s the type of return I’m going to get. From a very early stage in this business, I thought in my mind I can fit into any table. I can sit at any table, whether it’s with a billionaire, an entrepreneur, someone who’s poor and looking to get up. In my mind, this is a sport that helps you grow. If you come into it with that mindset, you’ll get that out of it. If you come into it and like the 21-year-old Alex saying, “Golf is not an athletic sport. I’m a football player. That’s whack.” I'm like, “Not to me.” There are challenges in golf but they don’t have the same type of challenges on the football field. On the football field, there’s a lot of physical and mental stuff but you cannot have a mental lapse in golf. To me, if you can learn and apply that to anything outside of the golf course, you are winning.

It’s your younger self overcoming obstacles.

The obstacle of life is the circles you want to enter. It’s not necessarily obstacles but it’s like don’t limit yourself to the people that you think you can gain entry to you.

Do you think you did that early on?

When you think about the dollars that it takes to get on the golf course, that’s intimidating in itself. I remember in my rookie year, I went all-in on golf. I spent money on Pro V1 where I shouldn’t have been spending money on. I have brand new clubs. I tried to get a membership, I didn’t get it but ultimately in my mind, I still saw it as a society that was untouchable.

You limited yourself to thinking that’s not me.

You almost put yourself in a space where it’s like, “I got way more swag than a golfer.” That’s not my avenue. I’m ready to make the connections at this other place, but I think a business could be done anywhere, especially in a place where everyone’s guard is down. This is the optimum time to be able to connect with someone.

I want to go back to this limit. I’m 25 and I’m like, “The barriers we put on our mindset.”

No, it happens daily. I’m a cocky 25-year-old. I made it to the NFL. I’d achieved every single goal I’ve ever wanted to achieve.

How did you do that?

There’s a lot that went into that but ultimately, I was a goal-oriented person. I knew that from a very young age if I wanted something, I had to work for it. Football gave me that opportunity. The best part about golf is that it’s a new challenge. That’s why all these athletes love golf like you master this one sport and then you go to this other sport that’s completely unloyal. It doesn’t support you in any way and you have to be on point every single moment.

Golf is so cruel.

It’s such a great term. Put that on a t-shirt. That is on a t-shirt soon.

Business Opportunities: The best part about golf is coming into it, even though it could be in a business environment, a fundraiser, a celebrity event. You don't come into it wanting to get something from it.

I’ve watched my son in these US Kids Golf Tournaments. I’ve watched this kid get crushed. I’ve been crushed watching him. He’s leading a tournament. It hits it in the water. It takes an eight on a hole when he could have won the thing. Literally, he’s mentally and physically crushed. I’m sitting here as an entrepreneur who’s been crushed multiple times throughout my life. I’m secretively like, “Good.” I’m like, “I’m glad you are not going to win this tournament. I’m glad you are getting your ass kicked. You are getting kicked into your stomach. I am glad about it because I know it’s going to make you stronger. Something so stupid as a golf tournament, you are getting mentally crushed.”

There’s something about things you can’t explain that bother you that help you grow even more. You can’t figure out why one swing is great and one is not. You have to work through it, internalize it, express it or whatever but you have to deal with it on the spot. That’s what’s the great part about golf.

We are going to switch gears here because I want to talk to you more about business. We love golf and we can talk all day. Golf is amazing for business connections. We’re going to reiterate that for anybody out there. I think a lot of people get that but I want to talk to you about business. Where is this world going? You and I are at a golf course doing a show like everyone but it’s changing so much. You are representing some of the biggest athletes in the world’s social brand and you are helping them put marketing deals together. Where do you see the world going in terms of sports and social media? It’s changing like crazy. I know it’s a loaded question but talk to me about the world.

Truthfully, I think we all see it. I’ve heard it in the song. There’s a former Boise State football player that’s a rapper now called Rexx Life. One of my favorite lines that he said is, “Attention is today’s currency.” If you pay attention to those two terms, it’s what everyone’s trying to win at. Who has got the most attention, whether it’s an influencer, a politician, a businessman or an athlete? It’s a popularity contest but now we have the metrics to be able to show who’s the most popular person. As opposed to like, who was the prettiest girl and who was the prettiest dude?

Now it’s like, “If we had to vote of who the prettiest girl and dude was or the best looking dude, do we have the analytics for that?” Now we have the analytics in front of us. That’s the most unique part about what is now. Going back to your question and “Attention is today’s currency,” the people that are winning are the people that know how to keep people’s attention the longest, including our former president. There was no one that was more polarizing. That right there lets you know that you can get anywhere with attention.

You brought up this point and I wanted to say the point. I’m listening like anyone but also want to say something. Here’s a great point. I met one of the people that worked at The Hype House in LA. This fricking blew my mind, Alex. I got out to LA and I meet with one of my friends who’s the manager of this Hype House. I’m like a dork. I don’t know what it is. It’s apparently a huge deal. It’s the biggest TikTokers in the world. Some have nineteen million followers.

Some are building careers from being influencers. The Addison Rae chick is now like a musician. The guy Jake Paul is now a fricking boxer and he’s making checks.

It’s crazy because I got there and it’s like the cool kids from high school a little bit. They are doing cool stuff but they are literally using cell phones. We have a bigger setup than they do. Joe Rogan’s producing his podcast with three people and his subscriber is insane. I have a billion-dollar deal with Spotify or something like that. I think one of them had nineteen million followers. I don’t even remember who it was but I was like, “Holy shit. You’re producing a Super Bowl size audience every day. That’s freaking insane.” Anytime I’m like, “Social media is a big deal. Every client I get is talking about social media.” You’ve seen some big moments.

You’ve captured from some of your athletes on like a catch or this or that on social. It’s like, “There’s your relevancy hit.” Some of these TikTokers have an American Idol size audience on some weird dance they did or whatever. That’s the new world, though. We’re not watching talk shows that are planned out with corny jokes anymore. We’re like, “No.” We’ve evolved as humans beyond the corny joke late-night shows like TV. We want authentic, really cool shit.

Someone that looks like me.

Yes. You told me that too. You’re like, “Harkey, the reason people follow you is because they envision themselves like you.” You know that for your athletes. How did you understand that insight?

I’m a consumer. I was born in the Dominican Republic but right away when I came here, I started emulating different people. You hear about the rat race and Keeping Up with The Joneses. You want to emulate the people that you look up to. More than ever now, you can showcase that. That’s why if you look at TikTok and I know you’re not on TikTok. If you have a brunette girl that looks anything like Addison Rae or the other girl but they make sure that they put themselves in the angle to make sure that they look like them because they know that’s going to get them here.

You can learn a lot about people when you master golf as a sport.

It’s that detailed these days. It’s crazy to think but again, it goes back to the people that are putting together these opportunities for us to be engaged. They know what we want because if we’re going to give them credit for something, they also pay attention. Influencers not only go above and beyond on the content, on the consistency, ongoing over the top on stuff but they also pay attention. They know what the audience likes. The people in your business, you guys get paid a lot of money to figure out what the consumer wants.

Influencers are doing a better job than agencies. They’re doing a better job than media companies because they in real-time and seconds know what American consumers want to see, want to feel and want to hear.

There’s a lot of back and forth to how much social media you should consume. A lot of people that are content creators always say, “I don’t consume a lot.” Meaning they are not necessarily engaged with it. I think that their career was probably built around consuming it a lot because they had to figure out something that resonates with them. I’m going to roll with that. I’m going to have my content be that.

The Pastor Mike, I watched him scroll the feeds. He’s on it. He’s looking. He knows what to do. I saw your shirt. I have ADDM but I’m thinking about a million things. Here’s the deal. We were driving to Flagstaff. This is an embarrassing story for everyone who has a Tesla out there, here’s what you need to know. If you’re going uphill, you don’t have as many miles as you think on the charge. We ran out of charge and were 1.4 miles from the charging station. We had to get a tow. We had to go to Sedona before we get to Flagstaff. It was cool. We went to this bar or this wine tasting. You get this cheeseboard. We’re sitting in Sedona and some retired Microsoft guy bought this big lot. We’re talking to him and he was amazing but you had this tie-dye shirt. What did the shirt say?

It was teaching love.

It had like a double thing in the top part of it. It took me back and I dazed into the shirt.

It’s more around the fact that we should educate people on. Though we don’t feel like our society has a lot of issues with racism and prejudice, ultimately it was more of a message around like, “Let’s talk about it.” A lot of people sweep it under the rug and it’s funny because it’s just a t-shirt but when you see it, it resonates with you. I bought it because I love the tie-dye as you can see but when I saw the message. I was like, “I mess with that,” because truly as someone who’s not from this country and I have a lot of different views onto, one, I got an amazing opportunity in this country but on the other side, I see the people that grew up in cities like in the South that I'm like, “I’ll never be able to understand what their families and ancestors have been through, but we should at least talk about it.”

You and I are friends and it’s hard to talk about it. Do you remember when we were in Portland?

That was when we missed the flight. We had to drive to Portland.

We were trying to get some fast food and it was blocked off. You and I were in the car together and it was a weird vibe.

Portland has a lot of issues as far as the homeless side. It was the narrowest Wendy’s Drive-Through of all time. Literally, we pull in. It was the only restaurant that was still open because Portland was shut down.

It was totally shut down and there was a lot of political drama.

It looked like a scene from I Am Legend. We saw a zombie, for sure.

We didn’t know how to talk about it. It was weird. We felt weirded out about the country and where it was at and where we were at the time and we’ve never experienced that before. I’ve never experienced that.

I like to always be real about my personal experience. I struggled to speak on other people’s stuff. I like to have empathy. I asked the people around me to have empathy. Even though you may not live it or you think that, “You guys are fine. You guys are doing great.” At least have empathy for the people in that culture that are not doing great as opposed to thinking one way because ultimately, that’s all we have. Grace is one of my favorite things in life. At some point in life, we’re going to have to give grace to someone and when it comes to that topic, grace is very important.

I’ve learned a lot too about empathy, especially in the last few years. I have more to learn and realizing that there’s bias that exists everywhere no matter what. You have an upbringing.

Going back to the shirt aspect, that’s a learned biased. It doesn’t come naturally.

What is a learned bias?

It’s the things that we talk about like racism, even thinking differently about someone, that’s something that’s learned. We both have kids. We know that we have a direct impact on the way that our kids treat people, salute people, engage with people and all those things. We can’t sweep that under the rug on the side when it’s a negative interaction because that’s a learned aspect. We don’t come out and say, “I don’t like the way that person looks.” No, that’s a learned thing. That’s why I think that shirt is so special. Let’s put that on the top line.

Business Opportunities: Golf is an athletic event where we can hang with people, get to know them over a long course of time, and then make deals happen.

What does that shirt say? It's something like, “End Racism,” at the bottom. Thank you for watching. Do you want to give some social media handles?

You can follow us @TheSocietyLLC. We are on Instagram and Twitter @TheSocietyAG. When you build the brand, they will give you a necklace.

You built the Dallas Cowboys D line brand around Hot Boyz.

This is a great story because ultimately, they were on fire, the Hot Boyz and they came up with it but as smart people do, they surrounded themselves with smart people around themselves. I was one of those smart people and we were able to capture a couple of great viral moments. The black cat on the field.

How many impressions did that get?

We sold a bunch of t-shirts. After that, I was on social media and someone had a photo of the black cat wearing a Hot Boyz necklace. I was like, “That should be on a shirt.” We worked rapidly and we put together an opportunity to sell them. We ended up selling a lot of shirts and DeMarcus blessed me with a necklace.

It was like the Dallas Cowboys D line.

It was led by DeMarcus, JR Smith and Jamal Crawford.

If you liked what you heard, share this, save it and do whatever you do on shows or whatever. Thank you for reading and go golf.

Go outside the box. Go into a new circle. Don’t stay in the same circles. Don’t limit yourself.

Be uncomfortable golfing with someone that you would not normally want to golf with and see what happens.

Important Links:

Scott Harkey

Entrepreneur & Podcaster

Scott leads a stable of marketing agencies and services offering the world's biggest brands speed, value and results. OH is an independent agency built to serve today's brands through consumer-centric marketing and strategy.